Singapore tycoon gets kidney from hanged gangster

Tang Wee Sung

Tang Wee Sung


An ailing Singapore retail magnate has received a kidney believed to have come from a convicted gangster hanged on the same day, The Straits Times reported Saturday.

Tang Wee Sung, whose Tangs department store sits in the prime Orchard Road tourist and shopping belt, was recuperating after a transplant operation Friday morning, the report said.

After a check with the city’s hospitals, the newspaper said it believed the kidney came from Tan Chor Jin, a former triad leader who was sent to the gallows at Changi Prison early Friday for the gangland-style shooting of a nightclub owner in 2006.

Tan’s mistress also confirmed to the newspaper that his organs were donated although she did not name the recipients.

Tang, 56, had been desperate for a kidney and had been on dialysis.

Last September, he was sentenced to one day in prison and fined after pleading guilty to entering an illegal arrangement to purchase a kidney and to falsely declaring that the would-be donor, an Indonesian, was a distant relative.

The Indonesian donor, Sulaiman Damanik, who came from a poor background, had agreed to sell his kidney for 150 million rupiah (13,600 US dollars). He was also jailed for two weeks and fined last year.

It was the city-state’s first organ trading case. The high-profile case prompted the government to say it plans to amend its organ transplant law so that kidney donors can receive financial compensation.

Under existing laws, it is illegal for donors to be given cash in return for giving up a kidney.

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